Opposition blames government for Parliament logjam, demand debate on Pegasus and farmers' issue


NEW DELHI: Leaders of 14 opposition parties on Wednesday said the responsibility for the deadlock in Parliament lies squarely with the government and urged it to respect parliamentary democracy by accepting their demand for a discussion on the Pegasus row and farmers' issue.

In a joint statement here, 18 leaders from 14 parties said that it is unfortunate that the government has "unleashed a misleading campaign to malign the combined opposition" and blaming it for the continued disruption of Parliament proceedings.

"The responsibility for the deadlock lies squarely at the doorsteps of the government, which remains arrogant and obdurate and refuses to accept the opposition's demand for an informed debate in both the houses," according to the statement.

"The opposition once again urges the government to respect parliamentary democracy and accept the discussions. The opposition parties stand firm and united on their demand for a discussion on Pegasus issue in both the Houses, replied to by the Home Minister, as this has national security dimensions," it said.

The opposition has also unequivocally conveyed that discussion on farmers' issues and on agitations due to the contentious agriculture laws should follow the debate on the Pegasus row.

The statement was issued jointly by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, DMK's TR Balu and Tiruchi Siva, Congress' Anand Sharma, Samajwadi Party's Ramgopal Yadav, Derek O' Brien and Kalyan Banerjee of the Trinamool Congress, and Sanjay Raut and Vinayak Raut of the Shiv Sena.

The other signatories included Manoj Jha of the RJD, CPM's Elamaram Kareem, CPI's Binoy Viswam, AAP's Sushil Gupta, IUML's Mohd. Basheer, NC's Hasnain Masoodi, RSP's NK Premachandran and MV Shreyams Kumar of the LJD.

The statement comes after a stalemate in Monsson Session of Parliament with both the Houses paralysed by the opposition's uproar over their demand for a discussion on the Pegasus snooping issue and farmers' protests.